The ugly truth behind using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic

The ugly truth behind using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic

Fair warning. Massive post coming your way about using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.

How many times have you heard that Pinterest has doubled, tripled, quadrupled and even exploded a bloggers  traffic seemingly overnight? How many times have you read a blog post claiming that Pinterest is the solution to all blog traffic problems and that used correctly it can grow to generate at least 80% of your daily traffic?

Anyone else a little annoyed at how easy Pinterest is made to look when in fact it’s a complicated, time consuming and strategic process that bloggers rarely admit to?  Admittedly, I’m late to the Pinterest game. TTBH was never supposed to be anything more than a hobby blog so when I did realize that I could make a little money from this space I needed to amp up my Pinterest presence to get things rolling traffic wise.



I read post after post about how to use Pinterest and how ahhhhhmaaaazing and easy it was to use Pinterest to grow your blog traffic. Simple idea right? You pin other people’s content and pin your own and boom traffic shoots up by thousands and thousands of page views per day.

Sadly, that is not the case. At all.

The ugly truth about using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic #blogging #sidehustle #pinterest #pinteresttips #growyourblog #blogtraffic #nicheblogging

What Pinterest is and What it is not

Pinterest is a visual search engine

Simple idea right? Sadly, that means that despite your efforts at creating awesome, useful and engaging content it wont appeal to people unless the pin you are using to promote it is pretty. Pinterest users absolutely judge a book by its cover. Isn’t that awful? Essentially, if your pin doesn’t appeal to the person who is viewing it, it will likely not get repined or clicked on which will not grow your blog traffic despite how wonderful your content is.  How do I know? Well, my original pins sucked and brought me hardly any traffic. Now that I’ve been focusing on creating more visually appealing pins my click through rate has really increased dramatically.

I’ve also done my research. I’ve clicked on a bunch of incredibly beautiful pins only to be horribly disappointed by the lack of quality content to be found once I’d clicked on through. Sadly, click through rate has a lot more to do with what your pins look like than than the quality of the blog posts you’re writing because Pinterest is a visual search engine and needs to be treated as so. So, if you can manage to write kick ass content and design eye-catching pins you should be extraordinarily successful using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.

Pinterest is not an immediate boost to blog traffic

Despite miraculous stories of using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic overnight which, I guess could technically happen to a lucky few – it does takes time. If you’re using a consistent pining strategy (more about that below) you should be seeing a steady increase in your number of followers, repins and click throughs on a monthly basis. Using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic is absolutely not a quick fix to increasing blog traffic. It’s a slow process that does work but takes time and consistency.

Pinterest can be a waste of time

Yup, I said it. If you’re not using it correctly it can be an absolute waste of time. Trust me because I had no idea what I was doing initially and it proved to be nothing but a frustrating mess of pins that did not help my blog one bit. By doing research, studying how successful bloggers used the platform and experimenting a little with  pinning strategies I’ve found my Pinterest sweet spot which for the time being seems to be driving a nice amount of traffic my way. I tend to hover around the 55% mark – meaning 55% of my monthly traffic is driven via Pinterest.

Pinterest can be an awesome traffic boost when used correctly

If you figure out a pinning strategy that works for your blog and your niche you’ll likely see a lot of success with using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic. Using it correctly means having a strategic pinning strategy which can vary from person to person. Some of my blogging friends see great success with very few daily pins while others (like myself) need to be pinning at a pretty hefty rate to see similar traffic numbers. All this to say, there is no one size fits all approach to mastering Pinterest. It’s a question of experimenting, finding what works for your blog and tweaking as necessary.

using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic

Get yourself a Tailwind Account

Seriously, Tailwind will be a lifesaver  when it comes to using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic. When I first started experimenting with a Pinterest strategy I signed up with Boardbooster which I loved. Although Boardbooster is an awesome scheduling and looping tool it really doesn’t compare to the power Tailwind gives you when it comes to scheduling your pins and ultimately using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.

I ended my subscription with Boardbooster in favor of an unlimited yearly package with Tailwind. I do not regret the switch one bit and since I’ve  started pinning upwards of 100+ pins per day I’ve seen my blog traffic triple. But, like I mentioned above it takes time and will not happen overnight. I’ve seen my traffic triple in just over 3 months. That’s 3 months of scheduling at least 100 pins per day.

Consistency folks – it’s all about consistency. All this to say, you need a Tailwind account right now if you’re looking to grow your Pinterest presence. It makes pinning, scheduling and keeping track of your pinning super easy and efficient. It’s so awesome and I promise you will not regret it.

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

Don’t pin for yourself

This was the game changer for me folks. After spending months (yes months) pinning manually for hours every single day (thank goodness for Tailwind) without any real direction it occurred to me that my Pinterest account would never appeal to my target audience.

As a frugal living blog I’d hope that frugal minded people and those looking to save money or turn their financial situation around would find my content appealing and want to repin it right? Well, these people would never find me because I was pinning content that I found interesting and not necessarily content that would appeal to my target audience.

That’s right folks – the second you start using Pinterest to market your blog you are no longer pinning for yourself. Once you cross over into the world of Pinterest marketing everything you do on Pinterest is about your ideal reader. What pins would your ideal reader be interested in? What topics would your ideal reader be searching for? What boards would your ideal reader be looking to follow? Once you can answer those questions you can really narrow down your pinning strategy and focus on building a Pinterest account that is overflowing with useful and targeted information your ideal reader would be interested in reading.

Create 2-3 pretty pinable images for every post

Every post you are creating should include a minimum of 2 pins. Why? People like options and ultimately different people will be attracted to different pins. Look at it this way, the more pins you create for a single post the more pins that are circulating around Pinterest linking back to your amazing content. In my experience, when I’m writing a meaty post that I flag as cornerstone content I put in the extra effort and create up to 5 different pins that I embed and hide within my post. It gives my readers options and has a higher likelihood of appealing to different members of my target audience.

If you’re new to the world of creating Pinterest pins don’t worry – it‘s not nearly as overwhelming as it seems. I use Canva exclusively to make my pins with the help of free stock image sites like unsplash, pixabay and pexels. Experiment, play around with different layouts and ultimately come up with something you think your ideal reader will find appealing. Make sure the text is clear and legible and that each pin is a minimum of 735 pixels X unlimited length. After some trial and error I’ve discovered that 735 X 1400 works best for my content.

If you do decide to create more than 2 pins for a post you might want to consider hiding them within your post so not to overwhelm your reader. Pinterest images although beautiful are often large and bulky within a post which can be visually distracting from the content you’re putting out there. If you’re interested in hiding a pin follow these easy steps:

  1. Insert the pins you want to hide into your post. I usually add them at the very end so they are easy to find.
  2. Switch over to text view and find the html code that links to your pins that you want to hide
  3. Add <div style =“display:none;”> before the <img src=”yourimage.jpg”> and </div> after
  4. Switch back to visual view to see if you’re pin is now hidden
  5. Repeat for every pin you wish to hide.

Join Pinterest group boards

Group boards are awesome because they get eyes on your content. I’m a member of upward of 20 group boards and by using Tailwind to schedule my pins to my various group boards my traffic has really increased. The thing I’ve found with group boards is that the larger the board the less engagement I get. Why? My pins get drowned by hundreds of other pins that are being dripped into the group at the very same time.

Getting added to group boards can also be tricky. It often involves following the group owner and then sending an email request to join which in many cases never amounts to anything. My advice? Request membership to smaller groups that are up and coming. The admins are often far more receptive to emails and will gladly add you to grow their group. Win win situation right?

I currently have two Pinterest Group Boards that I’d gladly add you to if you’re interested and feel like your content is a good fit.

Head on over and follow me on Pinterest and then shoot me an email letting me know which group you’d like to join. I promise to add you!

Use Tailwind Tribes

Sadly, this is no longer a free option with Tailwind. If you’ve got the extra cash and are looking at using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic Tribes are absolutely the way to go and worth every penny of the investment.

I’d say , and don’t hate me for this – Tribes are more effective than group boards at using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic. Why? People joining tribes are there for one reasonto get their pins seen. It’s really a quid pro quo situation where by sharing your pins you’re agreeing to share in return – the ease of scheduling within the tribes makes it super easy for you to find awesome content to share to your target audience and in return your pins get shared to an exponentially larger group of people. Cool hunh?

If you’re already a Tailwind Tribe Subscriber and want to join my tribe head here: Fabulously Frugal Folks. It’s a 1:1 group which means that for every pin you share to the tribe you must share one in return.

Use Tailwind to schedule upwards of 100+ Pins per day

The number of pins you should be scheduling daily is highly debatable. Some argue that you need to schedule no more than 20-30 per day while others claim that to see good traction with Pinterest you need to be pinning at a rate of 100 or more daily. What will work for you will depend on many factors including your following, your niche, the quality of your pins and Pinterest and its super secret algorithm. My suggestion would be to start on the high end to really start gaining momentum with using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic and then slowly scale back until you find your Pinterest sweet spot.

I’m currently pinning 100 or more pins per day which seems daunting right? Tailwind, group boards and Tailwind Tribes actually makes filling up my queue a breeze. Often times my queue is filled weeks in advance because I’m constantly hunting through group boards and tribes to find the very best content to share with my target audience. I generally spend 15 minutes per day scheduling pins which keeps my queue well stocked weeks in advance.

Schedule by the 80/20 rule

The whole point of using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic is to schedule your own content in addition to other people’s content that you think your target audience will enjoy and find useful. Pinning by the 80/20 rule – meaning for every 10 pins, 8 are your own allows for maximum visibility of your content. Although I aim for the 80/20, I often come in short at probably 50/50 and I’m still seeing good momentum with Pinterest traffic and click throughs. My ratio changes day to day and so far I haven’t seen any negative effects to my traffic if I stay within the 50% range. Again, like everything else Pinterest related it all depends on your niche, your blog, its content and your followers. Experiment with different sharing ratios and see which works best for you.



Phew. If you made it to the end, thanks for reading! Ultimately, Pinterest does work but it takes time and consistency to see the payoff traffic wise. I hope you found this monster of a post helpful friends! Here are a few more blogging related posts you might be interested in reading before you go:

How to make money blogging without blogging about blogging

How a workflow can make you a better blogger

20 gorgeous and free wordpress themes

What are your experiences with Pinterest?

The ugly truth about using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic #blogging #sidehustle #pinterest #pinteresttips #growyourblog #blogtraffic #nicheblogging
The ugly truth about using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic #blogging #sidehustle #pinterest #pinteresttips #growyourblog #blogtraffic #nicheblogging

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25 Comments

  1. November 6, 2017 / 8:11 am

    I`ve read it several times that it`s easy to gain traffic with Pinterest,but when I got started, I had to accept that it`s not as easy as everyone made it sound.Felt maybe im doing something wrong, but reading your post, i realize im not alone.

  2. myhomesteadlifecom
    November 6, 2017 / 8:20 am

    This is a great article, Im glad you shared it and I read it. Saving (pinning) to read over again and take better notes!

    • November 6, 2017 / 8:39 am

      Thank you so much for reading.

  3. minimaldomesticity
    November 6, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I’ve recently started blogging and so far I’ve found Pinterest to be super overwhelming! I’m using Tailwind, but just trying to schedule that many pins has been pretty time consuming. Any other tips for reducing the load?

    • November 6, 2017 / 8:39 am

      Are you scheduling your own pins as well? If you are it should help fill in your queue. Otherwise my best advice would be to repin from the group boards you are part of. Groups have tons of great pins in your niche!

  4. November 6, 2017 / 8:32 am

    Pinterest has massively increased traffic to my blog. However, the new people visiting don’t seem to like, comment or follow like my loyal readers do. Do you find this?

    • November 6, 2017 / 8:38 am

      I see Pinterest as drive by traffic. It’s people looking for information and once they’ve read what you have to offer they move on. Having said that, it’s not impossible to convert Pinterest readers into engaged commenters it just requires that something in the content they read peaks their interest enough to engage.

  5. November 6, 2017 / 8:39 am

    Tank you so much for posting this – I’m new to using Pinterest to grow my traffic and I couldn’t understand why there were so many people online saying how easy it was and how much growth they’d had when I have seen very little by way of results. I’m now off to check out Tailwind!

    • November 6, 2017 / 8:40 am

      Tailwind is incredible! My Pinterest growth is 100% a result of using it. Thanks for stopping by Megan! 😊

  6. November 6, 2017 / 8:44 am

    I’m new to this whole Pinterest game and I have to say – it’s a LOT more work than I thought it would be. But, I’m enjoying it so far. Because I went in knowing it would take a loooooong time. Like you say, it’s about beautiful images (YAY for Canva!!!) and pinning for OTHERS, not yourself. Thanks for sharing your views and for the helpful tips. I’m still trying to get into a groove, but I’m sure I’ll join Tailwind Tribes soon, too. 🙂

    ~ Melanie
    imagineyou.co.za

  7. November 6, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Great tips and now I’m completely overwhelmed:) But in a good way!

  8. November 6, 2017 / 9:45 am

    Really great post! Any chance you can you do a seperate post about how to create multiple images and embed & hide them in your post? This would be sooo useful, I reckon lots of people would be interested, its a great idea!!

    • November 6, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Thanks for reading Cheryl! I sure can I’ll add it to my list. In the meantime the tags for the hidden pins is up above! Give it a shot and let me know how it works out for you!

  9. November 6, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Thanks for the good Pinterest tips! I use Tailwind too and find it super helpful! I also Pin manually as I’ve heard that using a scheduler exclusively could possibly hurt your Pinterest account. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’m not taking any chances. I also like to click through to all of the links and get to the source of the information. Sometimes I find the photo is amazing, but the information is lacking, or not there anymore. I don’t want my Pinterest followers to follow bad links.

    • November 6, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Yup. I try and check them all out too and like you said some are lacking content wise. How many pins do you pin manually per day?

  10. November 6, 2017 / 11:17 am

    I also don’t think getting Pinterest traffic is as easy as everyone makes it sounds, but we also have to remember its a slow burn. My traffic has been going up…it went from 30, to 700, to 1500, to 2500. Hopefully it will keep growing!

  11. Ioanna
    November 6, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Wow! Thank you for this post! When I first started blogging I heard about Pinterest helping in generating traffic and I tried it. But I couldn’t understand exactly what I needed to do so of course I never got any real traffic from there. Recently I learned about group boards and decided to give it another try. I didn’t know about all the other stuff, Tailwind etc.

    I will definitely take a look at everything you recommended.
    Thank you so much!
    Ioanna | A Beauty Lover’s Stories

  12. November 6, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    Love this! Pinterest has definitely helped me grow… but I find it a lot of (tedious) work. It kind of sucks lol

  13. November 6, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    I have noticed the same things and agree Tailwind is super helpful. I just started checking out the Tribes aspect of it. Great article!

  14. November 7, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Great post! What always scares me about Pinterest is that it could change at any time, couldn’t it? Similar to other social media platforms that change algorithms or have switched to paid promotions and so on… so I’m hesitant to rely TOO much on Pinterest.
    Also, thank you for the 80/20 tip. I’d read that before somewhere, I think, but definitely needed the reminder since I’ve been pinning way too much content that isn’t my own…

  15. November 7, 2017 / 9:19 am

    Pinterest sucks. Ugly graphics or good graphics- whatever I make, they don’t really generate much traffic for me.

  16. November 7, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    I loved this post, we always read articles that say you can get traffic literally overnight. I’ve been pinning for about 8 months. I’ve finally joined some group boards about a month ago. I have joined about 10 group boards and since joining and pinning on a regular basis, I am finally starting to see some growth.

    So refreshing to hear someone say that it does take time. That’s been my experience as well. Now I just need to make it a point to create more than one image for my blog posts.

    I have to admit, I am a little lazy and I only create one pin per post. From here on out, I am going to start creating more.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, oh and you’re right. I couldn’t imagine trying to use Pinterest without the help of Tailwind.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan

  17. November 12, 2017 / 6:44 am

    This is very good post that shines light on the “amazing Pinterest.” I must admit it has helped me increase views, but really… just views. As a new blogger I am still learning how to use everything, but it’s really frustrating to have such a high bounce rate because people click on only one pin and it’s most likely just for the pictures. I am not giving up on Pinterest just yet though. I still have yet to use Tailwind, but will definitely be using some of your tips to grow. Thank you!! 🙂

  18. November 15, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Publishing good pins to good group boards ALOT seems to be the key for me. Sometimes I wonder if it depends alot on niche as well!

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